Those two words echoed in an otherwise silent chamber as a fat looking man wearing a long black overcoat entered the room through the rather old looking gate in the back. Have you ever wondered why all government employees have a fat tummy? I guess, maybe the government canteens suit them well (13).
I didn’t. Maybe I should have.
“Nitesh Mishra, you are standing in front of us for making some defamatory remarks against one particular religious ceremony (1), you are here because you (motherfucker) are an Anti-nationalist. We are ashamed to even call you a citizen of Atulaya Bharat (2) (Incredible India).
Don’t you know you are not supposed to talk about religion (modified form of untouchability), caste (our own version of racism), free speech (Ha-ha, idiots), questioning your leaders (Anti-nationalist), the ever so great lawmakers of this incredible country (you think you are better than me)?”
On 21st July 2017, you wrote, “I’m a Hindu Brahmin, so this accounts might be a bit biased. For boys these days, kavad (1) is nothing more than an opportunity to get drunk, smoke weed, oh sorry, drink the holy drink of lord Shiva, make menace and get away with it, all in name of religion.
I mean, almost everyone who goes to Haridwar for kavad yatra, is a boy below 25, I mean this morning alone, one kanvariya, nonetheless ended up whistling and harassing a girl who might have been beautiful, might have been because I was walking behind her, never saw her face. Is that why you want to a shrine, you fucker? Was that your search for atonement with the one?
I mean if you can’t see the wrong with this, then I don’t know why the fuck are you reading this?
I have never seen one place where they go and they do not disrupt the peace of indigenous people. This morning, in my locality, there was a traffic jam, four kilometre long, trucks filled to brim with idiots like them, music blaring at full sound on loudspeakers, was there any peace in that? Was that the meaning of visiting a shrine?
Oh, he is lord Shiva the destroyer, let’s destroy people’s peace and make him a complete destroyer.
I mean, again a bit biased, but I’ve never seen a religion more idiotic, stupid and hypocritical than Hinduism.
You are a Brahmin and yet you can eat chicken, lamb, fish, you can drink alcohol (pretty sure all of them are made to send you to hell). There’s a Muslim and yet if he so even touches a cow, your lynch mob is going to beat him to death. Fuck, you know what, let him eat beef, I’m not afraid of idiots like you, I’m ashamed that this religion has ended up becoming the epitome of supramism.
I’m the man I wish to be, I’ll live to be someone great but for my own sake, not because I need the approval of the society to have my own voice. I’ll speak and write as a common man, as an idiot. I do not wish to be a leader, I do not wish to be a proclaimed writer, and I’ll never be your spiritual Guru. You know, if you are God’s son then I am the devil’s advocate, do whatever the fuck you want to do about that.“
I guess, I forgot about section 121 (3) and 499 (4) of IPC (5).
Small moments, that’s how lives are charged. We all like to believe that just like good fiction, dramatic events in our life will happen with a lot of glamour but they don’t. There wasn’t anything special to the day I wrote that post either, well except the crowded roads and unnecessary loudspeakers flipping a finger to noise pollution. The sun rose in its usual way, the sky was blue like it’s supposed to be, the air was usual, nothing exotic about it, it was just like any other day.
The night on the other hand might have been different, maybe just a tiny bit darker. Maybe I shouldn’t have written any of that, then maybe I wouldn’t be in a court of law, facing defamation charges. Maybe I would be free.
But free from what? I never asked for anyone to care for my opinions, I wrote because I had to. I never asked anyone to give any thoughts to the words I spoke, I stated my opinions for my own sake, to argue, to advocate against my own turmoil’s. I didn’t claimed to be an erudite, I even proclaimed myself to be a self-taught idiot. I had no intentions of staring a new religion, a new cult just because I looked and perceived the world a bit differently.
The man with the long black overcoat continued, “And what is this, huh, on art of writing, a melody of tears, flash fiction #1, and what is it with this photograph, why are you making such Anti-nationalistic remarks? I mean, “Reinventing myself, by standards of society,” don’t you know we do not discuss religious riots (6, 7)? Don’t you know we do not talk about the way we treat the widow and orphan of a Martyr (8)? You think you are fighting for a change, do you know our freedom fighters would be ashamed of you?”
“I’m sorry, I tend to forget our great freedom fighters fought against the tyranny of British Empire just so that we cannot exercise our rights, so that we replace one monarchy for a pseudo-monarchy. I’m stupid that way. I’m ashamed of myself now, please forgive me,” I said.
“That’s all, you are sorry?” He screamed now.
“I guess, um, if…I, if I can’t express my opinions without worrying about lynch mobs throwing rocks at my home (9), without fanatics abusing my parents. Then where is the freedom in that? If I say I’m an atheist and old disgruntled fools like you look at me with pure disgust, where is the freedom of religion in that? What sort of a democracy it is if it’s written in our penal code, no matter what the technicalities, that freedom of speech is not an absolute (4)?
Freedom of speech, freedom of religion is a fairy tale for fools like me who believe that this incredible country, the country which so proudly bolsters about its diversity is the largest democracy in the world. We are nothing more than a supremist nation who believe Hindus to be the prime and pure race (11, 12).
Come to think of it, atleast Hitler had the guts to say it, though his means were pure evil but the idea, the principle wasn’t new or unique to him. All of us somehow end up believing that we are better than the person standing next to us, that our beliefs, our faith is better than others. Each of us believes ourselves to be the centre of this universe, the centre of everything.
Then yes, I guess, I’m sorry.”
Sometimes even whether ends up agreeing with you. The crackling thunders roaring in the distance suddenly announced the arrival of a great storm, not the one I was in on that very moment.
Maybe I unnecessarily struggle too much, I don’t know why. Maybe the illusion that I had tamed my dark passenger was just that, an illusion. Labels. I’m not sure what to expect from the truth about that. I like to believe that I’m the least judgemental person, a man with a very open point of view. But I guess even I label everything. I know I label half the people I see as idiots, other half not even worthy of my time, I know that. I’m not suffering from any psychological disorder. Atleast none that I know of. I do not have a narcissistic personality. I’m very nice and simple that way.
Do I really want to say anything about labels? I really want to, but even I’m not sure if I’m ready to see the skewed concept of right and wrong I subconsciously harbour.
Wouldn’t it be simply if everything was indeed in black and white? Why did it had to be in million shades of gray?
I do not have many friends. Maybe one of the reasons for that is the label of intellectual incompatibility that I end up putting on everyone. Apparently I’m not as open minded and devoid of judging remark as I tend to believe. Misconceptions. So I realise this is where I draw the line. I said so much about ideals, morality, right, and wrong but in the end, even for me, it ended up being blurred.
I kept saying, “I’ll ask you one question, Pranab Mukherjee (10), our current president, once said, “It is natural to love one’s country and see as much glory in its past as one can detect. But patriotism should not result in blinkered approaches to interpreting history or a compromise with truth in order to justify an argument of choice.”
In another instance, he said, “Let us, as I have said on many earlier occasions, produce Argumentative and Pragmatic Indians rather than intolerant and dogmatic citizens.”
You tell me which one am I?”